Auctions: This sale is a Woody Guthrie sale
Shortly after the end of World War II, a young Philadelphia woman named Charlotte Straus was so taken with Woody Guthrie's book Bound for Glory that she wrote the folk singer, then a private in the armed forces serving at various U.S. installations.
Shortly after the end of World War II, a young Philadelphia woman named Charlotte Straus was so taken with Woody Guthrie's book
Bound for Glory
that she wrote the folk singer, then a private in the armed forces serving at various U.S. installations.
His reply, a letter dated Oct. 29, 1945, grew into a yearlong correspondence that was surprisingly intimate and came to include autograph material and ephemera Guthrie sent her, notably a typewritten short story and eight pages of song lyrics and drawings.
On Thursday, the archive, consigned by Straus' brother, will be among the more than 430 lots of rare books, manuscripts, maps and prints to be offered by Freeman's beginning at 10 a.m. at the gallery, 1808 Chestnut St.
Aside from its $8,000-to-$12,000 presale estimate - the auction's highest, according to the catalog - the archive is important because of the insight it offers into the relationship that developed between Straus and Guthrie, who was married at the time.
"I want to tell you that 90% of your whole letter set up some pretty sad aches and pains in me," Guthrie wrote from Scott Field, Ill., on Nov. 3, 1945.
"Here's eight pages of molasses to go all over your pancakes," he wrote from Las Vegas a month later in a more whimsical mood. The final letter, written from Stroudsburg, Pa., on Oct. 8, 1946, closed with three pages of song lyrics and drawings of figures and hearts.
Although the catalog description does not say so, David Bloom, who prepared it with Joe Huenke, said Guthrie met Straus in person around that time. "Before his visit, she went on a crash diet," Bloom said this week.
Other performing-arts autograph material in the auction includes a signed Marilyn Monroe photograph ($800 to $1,200); a brochure prepared by the local chapter of the American Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for a 1959 dinner honoring Arthur Miller, which Monroe also signed ($500 to $800); and a collection of 1,200 signatures, among them Ronald Reagan and Jackie Robinson ($3,000 to $5,000).
A first-edition folio of an early illustrated book on anatomy,
De Humani Corporis Fabrica
by Adrianus Spigelius, printed in 1627 in Venice and here bound with a related work by Julio Casserius, is expected to sell for $4,000 to $6,000.
A first-edition, hand-colored, engraved John James Audubon aquatint of a Florida cormorant, printed in 1835 in London, is expected to bring $5,000 to $8,000. A signed first-edition limited edition of Ernest Hemingway's
A Farewell to Arms
has a $4,000-to-$6,000 presale estimate.
Among other first editions are a first trade edition of
A Farewell to Arms
($2,000 to $3,000), an unusually well-preserved edition of
Gone With the Wind
($2,500 to $4,000), and a first appearance of the weekly serialized version of Wilkie Collins'
The Woman in White
in a journal published by Charles Dickens ($3,000 to $5,000). Other works includes books on conchology, chemistry and mineralogy.
Previews will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday. For more information, call 215-563-9275 or go to
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Instruments at Slosberg.
At 10 a.m. Sunday, Barry S. Slosberg will augment its regular auction schedule with its traditional winter sale of musical instruments at the Port Richmond gallery. The 155 instruments include acoustic and electric guitars, brasses, reeds and percussion.
Among the top items are a 1971 Les Paul Gibson and an electric guitar signed by Paul Stanley of Kiss.
Slosberg associate Brian Lyons said the Les Paul guitar, which comes with a sunburst finish, should sell for about $1,200. "I play the guitar myself," he said this week, "and this one plays like butter."
The Stanley-signed guitar is one of a limited-edition series put out by Target about four years ago. "They were scarfed up really quick," Lyons said.
Along with violins, the auction also features "signature" bows by such well-known artists as Francois Xavier Tourte. They are expected to sell for $200 to $450 each.
Preview will be from 9 a.m. to sale time Sunday at the gallery, 2501 E. Ontario St. For more information, call 215-425-7030.